For Clay's 12th birthday, he'll actually be spending the week with his grandparents in Memphis. So he decided to celebrate early by inviting a friend to Wilderness of the Smokies waterpark. It is only 1-1/2 hrs away, in Pigeon Forge, TN. I love that he encouraged Reed to invite a friend as well - that gave Reed a pal at the park, so he wouldn't be getting on Clay's nerves (a win-win, I thought).
This type of waterpark is only open to hotel guests, which makes it a little less chaotic than a regular park. There were two outdoor parks and one indoor park - the outdoor areas has very similar things as the indoor, but it really was quieter because it was smaller, I guess. Outdoors, the younger kids mostly stuck to the climbing structure, and the older kids played LOTS of basketball:
We were bummed to find out we couldn't bring in ZB's floatie that we had found for the trip - she was content to just play in it, though :)
The inside waterpark had the bigger slides, a wave rider for surfing and boogie boarding, and a wave pool, as well as the climbing structure and another baby area.
Whew! We were exhausted at the end of the day! A great thing about it being a hotel park is that you can relax in the hotel room after a long day of playing, and when you check out in the morning, you can keep playing in the waterpark the entire next day (we lasted until about 6 before heading home).
Clay is so excited to turn 12 ~ I'm really glad we got to celebrate here at home before his big trip!